Shunned by the West


Refugee Week Events

Jun 12th, 2022 | Advocacy | Comment

📢 Announcing Grassroots Future’s agenda for 2022 Refugee Week 📢

本年度 (2022) Grassroots Future 世界難民日活動一覽

Join us for the first year Hong Kong is running Refugee Week with a series of online and in person events that engage with the this year’s theme of “healing”.本月20日是世界難民日。本港將舉辦首個「難民週」,主題為「復原」。

This year’s event series is co-organised by本年度難民週的主辦機構如下:Grassroots FutureUNHCR Hong Kong 聯合國難民署 (中國香港特別行政區辦事處)Justice Centre Hong KongBlessVision Foundation 幸福傳聲基金會 Branches of Hope 希望枝子RUN Hong KongWISE HK 睿動香港We hope you’ll join us between 20-26 June to celebrate achievements, talents and stories about starting again and healing.

Sign up via the link in bio or歡迎您於本月20-26日參與難民週活動,讓我們一同向難民對抗逆境的勇氣致敬。詳情請見:


Jun 7th, 2022 | Advocacy | Comment

With Hong Kong’s fifth wave of outbreak coming to an end, everything in the city stepwise goes back to normal.  This roundup reviews activities that happened at our centre in the past month.


About us 關於我們

The Refugee Union, founded in 2014, is Hong Kong’s only refugee-led organisation.  Currently, our centre is based in Sheung Wan.  Since our commencement of service, we have been working with visions to safeguard refugee rights and to improve the status quo of asylum seekers and refugees in Hong Kong.


Activities at a glance 活動一覽

This month activities at our centre began to resume as the local epidemic condition improved.  On 25 May, volunteers of Grassroots Future organised a crochet workshop at our centre.  Refugee ladies learned DIY with joys in the event.

本月二十五日,Grassroots Future 的義工團隊到訪本會並為難民婦女舉辦了一個針織工作坊。參加者於活動後皆表示獲益良多。本會衷心感謝義工團隊的努力。

On 27 May, we were honoured to host teachers and students from the Glenealy School.  They visited our centre to learn more about the situation of asylum seekers and refugees in Hong Kong and sent us donations of items.

本月二十七日,己連拿小學 (Glenealy School) 的師生到訪本會,透過實地考察讓學生更深入了解本地難民社群的狀況。師生及後捐贈物資到本會,以行動支持本地難民社群。本會對此深表欣賞和謝意。

This month we were thrilled to be selected by the Hong Kong Arbitration Charity Ball (HKACB) as one of the beneficiaries.  The annual event aims at raising funds to support Hong Kong’s charities and to facilitate the development of arbitration in Asia.  The invite is a recognition of our service to the local refugee community.  Thank you.


Giving is a blessing 施比受更有福

This month we received donations of wide-ranging items.  We would like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt gratitude to all generous donors for lending us a hand.  Your support means a lot to us.  As always, we promise to deliver all donations we received to asylum seekers and refugees who are in need.


Please stay tuned to our official website and social media pages (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) for the most updated information.  You are also welcome to contact us by email at or by visiting our centre during office hours (Mondays to Saturdays, 10am-6pm).

請繼續關注本會的官方網站和社交媒體專頁 (FacebookInstagramTwitter) 以獲取本會及本地難民社群相關的最新資訊。亦歡迎各位以電郵 ( 形式聯絡本會或親臨到訪 (辦公時間:星期一至六 上午十時至下午六時)。

Keep Refugee Union’s Center Running

Jun 1st, 2022 | Advocacy | Comment

June 20 is World Refugee Day. We ask that you support refugees by supporting our campaign for Refugee Union’s Center.

Refugee Union is the first self-organized group in Hong Kong where refugees help refugees.  

We were registered as a society in 2014 to connect with Hong Kong residents and the community at large. We are comprised of over 2000 members from dozens of countries, including around 200 children. We mainly support families as they are the most vulnerable and in need of timely assistance.  

The Government provides a monthly welfare support of: $1500 for rent; $1200 for food; $300 for utilities and $200 for transport allowance to attend official appointments. This package remains unchanged since 2014 despite inflation rate.  

No support is provided for clothes, shoes, home fittings, cooking equipment, cleaning materials, medicines and phone re-charge. To find out more:  

We therefore plead for your financial support to rent the centre for a second year so we may be able to continue serving our community. The survival of the centre and our services rely on donations that we receive. 

“Visiting the Refugee Union centre in Sheung Wan yesterday was both uplifting and humbling. The wonderful people there exuded joy, happiness, appreciation and kindness. We were inspired to support and help them on their life’s journey.”  ~Andrew

We have been in operation at this centre since July 2021 and have welcomed hundreds of visitors, including volunteers and donors. It is here that our volunteers and members are able to interact, connect and aid in providing this community with essential donations. We are fortunate to receive regular deliveries of rice, bread, milk, canned food and fresh vegetables which we distribute to the families most in need. 

“I hope you are well. I did a drop-off of some food a few weeks ago and your staff were extremely friendly and thankful. It’s a lovely environment there. Thank you for what you are doing.” ~Janice

We pay $11,000 a month to rent this small space which has become the heart of our community. For some refugees, it is the most important place in town where they can meet friends and let their children play whilst receiving services. Over 1000 refugee families and their children visit every month and, thanks to your generous support, seldom leave empty handed! 

“We have worked with Refugee Union on several occasions in the past few years. My own family has experienced the difficulties of being a refugee, so the work RU does is even more special to me. I hope you can continue working and helping all of these people in need.” ~Alisha 

We welcome anyone in the community to visit our centre and learn about our predicament firsthand.

We are also grateful for the support and partnership with Drink for Justice whose monthly event supports our fundraiser for the rental payment of the centre. Please support and help us spread the word to not only raise funds for the rent but to raise awareness! We believe that together, we are stronger

Click to donate >


Deserving or undeserving refugees?

Apr 13th, 2022 | Advocacy | Comment

The war in Ukraine should make us reflect upon deep-seated biases held about “deserving” and “undeserving” refugees. Digging below the superficial justifications one might discover racism. The right to seek asylum is indeed universal 🤔
It doesn’t matter where you are from. It doesn’t matter what gender or colour you are. It doesn’t matter what job you had. Everyone has the right to seek asylum in another country if he/she believes that returning home is dangerous 🌏
We are thankful for the hundreds of supporters who get this and we are saddened by critics who believe we should welcome certain “deserving” refugees and turn away “undeserving” ones. If only they could walk in those shoes 👟


Mar 30th, 2022 | Advocacy | Comment

This March continues to be a very difficult month for us and for people in Hong Kong.  Numbers of infection keep accelerating following the outbreak of the Omicron Variant virus locally.  Many are suffering from the pain of disease and some have lost their loved ones.  Despite the city being placed under lockdown, we stand firm and provide essential service for asylum seekers and refugees.  This is a review of the activities that happened at our centre in the past month.

About us

We are the Refugee Union.  Our organisation was founded in 2014 and is the first refugee-led organisation in Hong Kong.  We have a centre based in Sheung Wan.  We work with visions to safeguard refugee rights and to keep improving the status quo of asylum seekers and refugees in Hong Kong.

Emergency food drive

Asylum seekers and refugees have nowhere to seek help as government offices, churches, and supporting organisations are closed during the lockdown.  Prices of necessities also go skyrocketing as people scramble for them in panic.  Asylum seekers in Hong Kong are prohibited from working and are solely reliant on HK$40 per day to survive.  The current pandemic has further worsened their situation.

We therefore have initiated an online fundraising campaign.  We will allocate the resources we gathered to asylum seekers and refugees who are in need.  Kindly show your support for our Emergency Food Drive.

Call for abolishing the food card system

We have also initiated an online petition calling for an abolishment of the food card system.  Currently asylum seekers are restricted to purchase items at the ParknShop supermarket.  For the past eight years the policy has not changed, nor has the card value increased with inflation.  It is unreasonable to distrust asylum seekers from managing the small amount of cash to purchase items they need at the cheapest price they can find in the neighbourhood.

We respectfully request the Hong Kong government to review the food card system and stipend for asylum seekers.  Kindly show your support for us by signing the petition.

Giving is a blessing

This month we have received donations of wide-ranging items.  We would like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt gratitude to all generous donors for lending us a hand.  Your support means a lot to us.  As always, we promise to deliver all donations we received to asylum seekers and refugees who are in need.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank professional journalists at the South China Morning Post and Hong Kong Free Press for bringing our situation to public attention.  Thanks also go to Canada in Hong Kong for recommending our organisation to the public.

Please stay tuned to our official website and social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) for the most updated information.  You are also welcome to contact us by email at or by visiting our centre during office hours (Mondays to Saturdays, 10am-6pm).

We are refugees helping refugees.  Thank you for your support of our initiative.

Notice for Canadians in Hong Kong

Mar 26th, 2022 | Advocacy | Comment

Thank you “Canada in Hong Kong” for putting out a word of support for the Refugee Union. We are honored to be listed alongside such wonderful organizations as Feeding Hong Kong and 香港仁人家園 Habitat for Humanity Hong Kong 🙇
Our crowdfunding program helps to buy rice, milk and other stables in bulk to counter food insecurity in the refugee community. The government assistance falls short of basic human needs, so we are grateful for your help:
If you have questions, please WhatsApp 9828 7176

A thanksgiving to our generous donors

Mar 21st, 2022 | Advocacy | Comment

“We stand by you!” wrote one of 269 donors who supported our ongoing crowdfunding program. Dearest donors, you demonstrate support daily with your generous donations. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts! You give us hope and strength when we need it most! 😊
Every donation is precious and every donor is truly honored as part of our community. Indeed some of you are family because you have shown your love and dedication through the years. You are special 🤩
Words cannot express our gratitude as we appreciate that behind every donation there is true sacrifice and often a collective effort of a group working hard to raise awareness and gather what we need 🙏
We cannot mention you one by one, but for the “sweetness factor” alone the Dough Nation Club stands out. Jeanine is a remarkable year 10 student who raised $8000 … selling cookies 🍪
Stay blessed one and all 😇
* Photos by our super talented Karling at So Lightly

HKFP – Panic buying leaves Hong Kong’s refugees with little to eat

Mar 4th, 2022 | Advocacy | Comment

SCMP – Refugees in Hong Kong struggle to buy supplies as panic buying over lockdown rumours sweeps food off shelves

Mar 4th, 2022 | Advocacy | Comment

Abolish refugee food cards in Hong Kong

Mar 2nd, 2022 | Advocacy | Comment


We are the Refugee Union, Hong Kong’s only refugee-led society. There are currently more than 14,000 refugees and asylum seekers in the city. Not everyone is a member of our society but on this demand for change we probably speak for the majority.

In January 2014 Hong Kong Government introduced “food cards” valued at HK$1200 a month for refugees to purchase groceries at Park’n’Shop supermarkets. Refugees protested that prices were cheaper at other stores and especially at local wet markets. For the past eight years the policy has not changed, nor has the cards’ value increased with inflation. Regrettably our demands for change consistently fall on deaf ears.

The current pandemic made matters worse. Residents are stocking up on groceries ahead of the universal Covid-19 testing scheduled for the coming weeks. The mass testing will likely involve a week-long citywide lockdown which already caused panic buying across Hong Kong. Shelves in many supermarkets and stores have been stripped bare, especially at Park’n’Shop.

Panic buying is hurting refugees most because we don’t have family, social or community networks to help us when government assistance fails. Forcing refugees to use “food cards” only at one supermarket group greatly limits our opportunities to purchase groceries and maximizes food insecurity and hunger in our families. It doesn’t have to be this way.

It is laughable to suggest that refugees should not receive cash because we will buy beer and cigarettes … that is simply not the rational behaviour of hungry human beings. It is unreasonable to distrust refugees from managing HK$40 a day to buy the groceries we need at the cheapest prices we can find in the neighbourhood.

We respectfully demand that Hong Kong Government recognize the physical and psychological harm caused to vulnerable refugee families and urgently replace the “food cards” with stored-value Octopus cards accepted by all groceries shops and at some stalls in wet markets.

Hong Kong’s empty supermarket shelves scream against the economic injustice represented by these “food cards”. Please support our demand for change. Thank you.

We would be grateful if you could share this petition with family, friends and on social media as word of mouth is the best way to raise awareness and advocate for change.